So I went for a drive on November 4, 2020. No place in mind, no event I planned to attend. Just bored. I threw my car on the road and drove. Somehow just thought heading west was a good idea. That's how I ended up in the city of Okeechobee and was the accidental witness to one of the biggest pro-Trump parades I have ever seen.
Kids dangled off of Jeeps in their MAGA bests, flags the likes of "Trump 2020" or the more to the point "Trump 2020 Fuck Your Feelings" flapping off of big rigs, R.V.s turned into mobile political billboards, and spectators crowded in parks cheering "Four more years!" It was a sight to see, especially since it was one I just happened upon.
The parade made its rounds before emptying out of the city and parking along Lake Okeechobee. I, of course, was curious about the people and wanted to see more. I've always been interested in documenting. Walking in I knew I was the only blue dot in a sea of red, but walking around and talking with the parade participants I got to know them. No over-the-top arguments erupted over why they thought I might be a snowflake or why I thought their ideologies were backwards. I just wanted to know who they were, where they came from, and why they loved the man in office so much.
Unsurprisingly a lot of it revolved around the cult of personality that Trump was. Speaking with people I heard many of the same answers. "He shoots straight", "He sees us", "He isn't a normal politician" were the going phrases at the meet. Also, of course, was the traditional Republican strongpoint of maintaining family values.
Even when speaking with them I could hear the edge in their voice, half expecting me to outright challenge them. I wasn't there for that, just wanted to hear their side. I bopped around snapping photos and talking with anyone that gave me their time.
Families continued pulling up and chatting for hours while the cool wind blew over Lake O. Once the sun dipped the lines of trucks thinned and clouds settled over. Covering everything in the shadow of the impending 2020 election.